Romanticism to Modernism: Repressed Revolution to Liberated Aesthetics
The focus will be primarily British, primarily the Romantics; but there will be some international flavor to the second half of the course. After looking at a small selection of 18th Century poets as background we will read the canonical Romantic poets as well as the work of some of their contemporaries. Among other things, we will watch for the persistence of revolution as a possibility and watch how nationalism emerges as a goal or a target of the writing. We will then read briefly from other periods: the Victorians Arnold and Tennyson, who assign poetry a stabilizing social value; Rimbaud, who does quite the reverse; the modernists, Yeats, Eliot, and Williams; the Surrealistes, who act out a poetic revolution; and the Russian poet, Mayakofsky, who actually lived through a revolution and attempted to act as its spokesman.
Majors seeking to fulfill the usual English 202 requirement in alternate way may to so with *two* courses dealing with British poetry of the three periods covered by 202: 18th-century or "Augustan" poetry; Romantic and/or early 19th-century poetry; Victorian poetry and/or early-modern British poetry. This substitution must be approved by your English faculty advisor and/or the Undergraduate Chair. English 202 is generally not to be counted within the concentration; exceptions can be--and are often--granted by request.